Making Peace with Seizures

By Cosette Snarr

My husband had had uncontrolled seizures for over 25 years. I’d tried fixing them and controlling him to no avail and finally got to the point where I gave up. To be honest, my attitude toward the whole situation over the years had been awful, but I was in the process of learning how to accept his condition with more grace. Truth be told, I was exhausted from the fight.

This particular day we planned to attend the temple, which was a habit I’ve struggled with over the years. I’d hear people say how they love to worship there, but that was never my experience. However, in my efforts to have a better attitude toward my husband I wanted to keep trying. I knew the only way for me to have a change of heart was through the grace of God and I wanted to feel His Spirit that day.

I prepared by fasting and praying. I asked God to please help me have a good experience and to bless me that I might feel of His love. It was one of the rare times I looked forward to going.

Everything was going as planned until we got into the room where the men and women sit separately. Before I even had a chance to sit down I noticed commotion on the other side. I knew in that instant my husband was having a seizure. I made my way over to the disturbance where my suspicions were confirmed. I identified myself and a few men helped me and my unconscious husband out of the room.

I was humiliated. Every time my husband had a seizure in public my stomach turned into knots and I wanted to run and hide. Now, in the temple, it was no better.

We were taken to a first aid room where my husband was laid on a cot. Two people from security stayed with me to wait for my husband to regain consciousness. I knew from experience it was going to be a while. I apologized to both of them for the inconvenience and disturbance caused. They both graciously brushed my concerns aside. It didn’t make me feel any less uncomfortable.

It took about 45 minutes for my husband to come to at which time I went through my usual process of asking him some basic questions to be sure he knew what was going on. The gentleman that was with us accompanied my husband to the dressing room while I went to get changed.

Once in the little cubicle I sat down and cried. This was not what my time at the temple was supposed to be. I wanted to feel peace and love—all I felt was frustration that I’d never get away from these episodes that literally haunted my life. Why Heavenly Father? Why couldn’t I have that desired peaceful worship time?

As soon as I got dressed I heard someone calling my name and knew my husband had had another seizure. The woman sent to fetch me confirmed my fears and led me back to the men’s dressing room where Gordon was unconscious on the floor with three men standing over him. Was this nightmare ever going to stop?

One of the men had been in the cubicle next to my husband and explained that he heard a thud and knew something was wrong. Unable to get the door open, he climbed over the divider to get him out. My humiliation increased. This wise man simply said, “It’s not a coincidence I’m here. There’s no such thing as coincidences for people who are trying to do what it right.” That was a new idea to me.

This time when my husband came to they wouldn’t allow him to walk, so he was wheeled out to the front of the building where I picked him up. By this time all I wanted was some frozen custard—my favorite comfort food. I determined it would be our next stop. However, within 5 minutes my husband had another seizure and I knew custard was out of the question.

That evening, full of self-pity I bemoaned the fact I’d missed out on the wonderful temple experience I’d prayed for. In that moment I was reminded I received exactly what I needed. Whenever I’m by myself and my husband has an episode I feel so alone. That wasn’t the case here. I’d been surrounded by loving, thoughtful people whose only concern was for my well-being and that of my husband. I was in the most peaceful place on the planet. Heavenly Father was letting me know He is fully aware of my needs and He’s there for me. I now cherish the experience of that night.

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